Back on 7th February 2014 I sat on my bed in Manchester and wrote my first ever blog post, a beauty review that received little to no hits. I started a blog that I was (at the time) ashamed of, and told no one of it's existence for six months, worried that people would criticise my writing and quite frankly I thought everyone would find the whole concept of my blog stupid. I was afraid to feel like an embarrassment. Fast forward to Friday night and somehow there I was, two years of hard work and five national blog award shortlists later, stood in a gorgeous ballroom in London while a photographer took my photo. Why? Because Amy Elizabeth had not only been shortlisted from 2000 entries and 78000 votes but was actually awarded Highly Commended for the Best Lifestyle Blog in the UK?!? Just wow.
The first thing I have to say is thank you. When I was sat on that bed two years ago I never in a million years dreamed that I would ever achieve anything close to what I have achieved today. I guess the moral of that story is don't be afraid of having people laugh at your dreams, criticise your work or tell you you can't succeed. Success isn't a bi-product of luck, success is a bi-product of hard work and don't let any one tell you otherwise. My blog now has nearly 13,000 followers across all platforms and I am scarily close to 400,000 blog views. The fact that I can't even comprehend what 13,000 people would look like is pretty overwhelming in itself. So to each and every person who has ever read, commented, followed or visited my blog or any of my social media platforms; Thank you. And I really truly mean it.
Being awarded Highly Commended really means so much to me. I have poured my heart and soul into my blog and to have this effort recognised on a national level is the most incredible feeling in the world. But more than my certificate, more than my blog stats or page views, what touches me the most are the stories, emails and comments from readers who I have directly influenced through my blog. If even one of those page views has positively inspired someone, helped someone seek comfort or even made someone smile then I have done my job.
This year the headline sponsor was Odeon, along with category sponsors Debenhams, BMW and Bupa just to name a few. The theme of the night was storytelling, and the venue was decorated beautifully by Event Trees in the style of the BFG. Dream jars were hung in trees and fairylights lit Ivy covered walls, creating the most magical venue for such a magical event. I loved every single minute of Friday night, it was without a doubt one of the best nights of my life. Thank you once again for all your support, here's to the future... I wonder what the next two years have in store.